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Sex, relationships and the law for people with learning disability

Ian Hall (East London Foundation NHS Trust, University College London)
Evan Yacoub (South West London, St George's NHS Trust)

Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities

ISSN: 1753-0180

Article publication date: 1 June 2008



The article reviews the policy, legislation and literature on sex and relationships for people with learning disability, through a search of electronic databases, journals and other resources. It reviews the rights of people with learning disabilities to a sexual life and their views of service responses, sexual offences legislation and the link between sexual knowledge and practice. It also explores sexual orientation and preference among people with learning disabilities, differences between the genders and sexual offending, including consideration of ‘victimless’ offences. It concludes that the balance between empowering and protecting people with learning disabilities is challenging but important. Interventions to promote safer, healthier sexual behaviour need to address more than improving knowledge. We need to find out more about what people with learning disabilities think about their sexual experiences and how they are supported in this area.



Hall, I. and Yacoub, E. (2008), "Sex, relationships and the law for people with learning disability", Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 19-24.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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